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SkyStreamer: tapering off Cipralex / escitalopram safely

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SkyStreamer

Thanks for your response, @Gridley That's very admirable. It takes humility to realize a certain weakness and to ask for help. So hard to do, but so beneficial for authenticity and healing. I ended up doing a 30 minute low key walk today on my tredmill. Turned out to be a better day. Had a bit of panic feelings during dinner with my family (5 kids!). Other than that, it was ok. I really have a hard time reducing my intensity in just about everything. This is my weakness, and I'm going to have to try and be humble about it. :) 

 

Good points @ChessieCat. I love relaxation techniques, and I do practice them. However, my challenge is actually doing them well. When I'm not in panic, I find I don't pay attention too well, and my effort is not as strong. But, when I'm experiencing a lot of stress or some panic, then I put my whole heart and soul into it, and I get a lot of benefit from it. Any advice for how to keep the same attention and effort when I'm not stressed or in panic?

 

Good to hear from you, @Carmie. Thanks for your comments! I usually get about 8 hours of sleep a night. There are times during the day when I feel like I could sleep an hour or so, but I am afraid that doing this will ruin my sleeping schedule. I have been told that it is ideal to get around 8 hours of sleep, to go to bed at the same time every night, and to wake up at the same time every morning. Do you think this makes sense? Or would you still be trying to sleep more during the day if you feel tired? People always say listen to your body. While I try to do this,  I find it extremely difficult to know what my body says about sleep in the moment. Sometimes I feel like my body is asking for more sleep during the day, but then it seems to complain at night by becoming restless and not cooperating with my regular sleep schedule. 

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ChessieCat

It's not so much about putting in the same effort as when you need it, that takes a lot of effort, I know.  It's about just taking some time out to give your brain and nervous system a bit of a rest for a few minutes.  A bit like taking a mini holiday.

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SkyStreamer
9 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

It's not so much about putting in the same effort as when you need it, that takes a lot of effort, I know.  It's about just taking some time out to give your brain and nervous system a bit of a rest for a few minutes.  A bit like taking a mini holiday.

 

What are some ways of relaxing that you have found helpful? Ones that are like a 'mini holiday.' 

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ChessieCat

Here's some additional information which might help you to understand what is happening:

 

Recovery isn't linear it happens in a Windows and Waves Pattern

 

Withdrawal Normal Description


When we take a psychiatric drug, we are adding chemical/s to the brain.  The brain then has to change to adapt to getting the chemical/s.  It might have to change something to do with A and then once that change has been made it affects B so another change has to be made and so on down the line.  It is a chain reaction, a domino effect.

 

The same thing happens when we take the drug away.  That's why it's possible to experience such a vast array of withdrawal symptoms, and they can change, and be of different intensity.

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

These explain it really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

On 8/31/2011 at 5:28 AM, Rhiannon said:

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

AND

 

On 12/4/2015 at 2:41 AM, apace41 said:

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

 

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ChessieCat

During any taper, there will be times of discomfort.  We strongly encourage members to learn and use non drug coping techniques to help get through tough times.

 

Lots of good stuff in this topic:  Non-drug techniques to cope

 

Understanding what is happening helps us to not get caught up with the second fear, or fear of the fear.  This happens when we experience sensations in our body and because we don't understand them we are scared of them and then start to panic.

 

This document has a diagram of the body explaining what happens in the body when we become anxious:

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/AnxietySelfHelp.pdf

 

 

Audio FEMALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Audio MALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

Dr Claire Weekes suffered from anxiety and learned and taught ways of coping.  There are videos available on YouTube.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

 
Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)
 
On 4/28/2017 at 4:03 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

 

 

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SkyStreamer

Thanks @ChessieCat Really appreciate it. I'll take a look through this.

 

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 01/26/2019

 

ongoing numbing head pain since I missed 1 dose last week (worse when more anxious)

- Had constant tingling in index finger throughout the day; just started today

- Still feel like CNS is very sensitive (get anxious very easily and intensely over little things)

 

NIGHT: 8.5 hrs of sleep; fairly descent sleep; only woke up once briefly with low to mid-level anxiety (4.5/10)

7am: woke up for the day; exhausted, low energy, unmotivated, mid-level fear (5/10)

7:30am: prayed for 30 mins

9am: took AD dose

10:15am: exercise for 30 mins (light workout on legs); mid-level anxiety for majority of time (6/10); higher anxiety towards the end (8/10); numbing pain in my head (ongoing); no panic attack though

11:30am-12:30pm: work; mid-level anxiety (5/10)

12:30pm: 30 mins guided relaxation meditation; low anxiety (3/10); after lower anxiety (2/10)

1pm-5pm: work; mid to high level anxiety (4-7/10); lower anxiety earlier; higher anxiety later with numbing pain in my head; 

5pm: tried to relax; rocked in rocking chair for 20 mins; 15 min walk outside

6pm: family dinner & hanging out with my kids; mid-level anxiety earlier (5/10); high anxiety towards the end (8/10); numbing pain in my head

8pm: 45 mins prayer

9:30pm: BEDTIME

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 01/27/2019

 

Much less anxiety today 

- Took more regular breaks

- Less rigorous activity

 

NIGHT: 8 hrs sleep; very rough night; woke up 2 times in sudden fear; can't remember what I was dreaming about; the fear dissipated very fast; stayed up 1 hour the first time & 20 mins the second time

8am: woke up for the day

  • My wife took the kids to mass;  I made the decision to stay home with one of my kids; was such a relaxing and peaceful morning; when I attend mass with my family on Sundays, it is usually an awful experience: mad rush getting ready; everyone is stressed and rushed; we arrive to mass grumpy; and we return home completely frustrated and annoyed; gosh, Sunday mass shouldn't be so miserable!!!

9am-11am: spent time with one of my kids; glimmers of calm and relaxation (6/10); low anxiety (3/10)

  • AD dose

11am: wife and other kids arrive back home; mid-level anxiety (6-7/10); wife stressed; other kids stressed; 

12pm: 20 guided relaxation meditation

1pm: family lunch; mid-level anxiety (6/10)

2pm: 15 mins personal downtime

2:15pm: 30 mins walking & 15 minutes light weights

3pm: 15 mins personal downtime

4pm-8pm: family dinner; family time

8:30pm: 45 mins prayer

9:30pm: BEDTIME

 

 

 

 

 

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: -1/28/2019

 

Less intense anxiety today

- Wasn't crippled by stress

- Felt like a baby step of progress

 

NIGHT: woke up 1 time for 20 mins from a bad dream; dream was about extreme loneliness, abandonment, sadness, hurt, and despair

7:30am: woke; extremely tired & exhausted; unmotivated; lethargic

9am: AD dose

10am-1pm: work; medium anxiety (5-6/10); no more tiredness or exhaustion; more motivated

1:30pm: downtime and relaxation; 15 mins TV; 15 mins focused breathing

2pm: 1 hr of medium to light weights; medium anxiety at beginning (5/10); higher anxiety towards end (7/10)

4pm: 15 mins meditation; medium anxiety (4/10)

5:30pm-8pm: family dinner; family time; high anxiety (7/10)

8pm: 45 mins prayer; medium anxiety (5-6/10)

9:30pm: BEDTIME

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 01/29/2019

 

- Felt refreshed from night sleep

- Less anxiety and stress

- Had moments of relaxation and calm

- Seem to be slowly stabilizing after last week's 1 missed AD dose

 

NIGHT: 9 hrs of sleep; woke once for 1 hr at 1am (dang the snow clearing truck!); had medium level anxiety when awake (6/10)

9am: woke; took AD dose; felt rested and refreshed; also felt a little pressure because I woke up late and was 'behind things'

11am-1:30pm: work; medium anxiety (5-6/10); feeling pressure to be more productive b/c I woke up later than usual

2pm: 30 min brisk walk; 15 mins light weights; medium anxiety for first half (5-6/10); higher anxiety towards the end (8/10)

4pm-5:30pm: work; high anxiety (7/10); racing thoughts; worried I might have a panic attack (but never did)

5:30: downtime; 15 mins TV; 15 mins prayer; high anxiety at beginning (7/10); medium anxiety towards the end (5.5/10)

7pm-8:30pm: family dinner; family time; medium anxiety (5.5/10)

8:30: 45 mins prayer: medium anxiety (6/10)

9:45pm: BEDTIME

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 01/30/2019

 

- Less sleep at night

- Day off from exercise

- Tired & exhausted most of day

- lacked energy and motivation

- Less hope and optimism

- Less anxiety (strangely)

 

NIGHT: 6.5 hours sleep; was tired but just couldn't sleep more

5am: woke; but stayed in bed for 1 hour trying to go to sleep; did not work

6am: woke and got up for the day

6:30am: 30 mins prayer

9am: 7.5mg of Cipralex dose

9am-12noon: work; medium anxiety (4-10); tired, exhausted & unmotivated

12noon: 15 mins guided relaxation meditation; 35 min nap

1pm-3:30m: medium anxiety (4/10); lacking hope; tired; pessimistic; unmotivated; extreme boredom

3:30pm: 30 min downtime; watched TV; medium anxiety (4/10); extreme boredom and disinterest

4pm-6:30pm: work; medium anxiety at beginning (4/10); higher anxiety towards the end (8/10)

6:30pm: 20 min downtime; rocked in chair

7pm-8:15pm: family dinner; family time

8:40pm: 45 mins prayer & meditation

9:45pm: BEDTIME

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SkyStreamer

What do you do when you wake up in the middle of the night and cannot get back to sleep?

 

I usually just lay there and try and go back to sleep. Has anyone had better luck in getting up and doing something until they feel tired? Or, reading? Or, something else?

 

Interested to know people's thoughts about and experiences with this.

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Gracee

Hi SkyStreamer, I've been a poor sleeper all my life.  It's in my genes, inherited from insomniac parents.   I keep a Kindle reader next to my bed and pick it up and read until  I get drowsy.   It is backlit so I don't have to turn on a light and I can adjust the font size.  It works better than a hard-copy book because it is so light weight and easy to hold while laying down.  

 

I have tried everything in my lifetime during period of sleeplessness.  This works best for me.   Good luck,

G.

 

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SkyStreamer

Thanks @Gracee for your response. I am an avid reader, so that's a good option for me. I usually read hard form books, and I've never tried anything like a Kindle. I might look into this a little more. 

 

Any other tricks or tools for dealing with restless sleeps or middle of the night wake-ups? How do you deal with the tiredness from day to day?

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 01/31/2019

 

Good night sleep

- More energy

- less anxiety

 

NIGHT: 8.5 hours sleep; didn't wake up at all; thank the sleep gods!!! :) 

7am: woke; low anxiety (2/10) rested and refreshed; more energy and motivation

9am: 7.5mg Cipralex dose

9am: 50 mins of weights (85% intensity); medium anxiety (5/10); enjoyable; motivated

11:15am: 15 min breathing exercise

11:30-5:30pm: work; a little more anxiety (6.5/10); anger (4/10); irritable; frustrated; annoyed

5:30pm: 30 mins downtime: TV

6pm: family dinner; low anxiety (3/10)

7pm-7:45pm: time with wife; high anxiety (7/10); frustrated; annoyed; angry

7:45pm: 30 mins downtime; tv

8:45pm: 45 mins prayer; lower anxiety (4/10)

9:45pm: BEDTIME

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Altostrata

Looks like you're stabilizing.

 

Whatever you did to prepare for sleep, do it again! See Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

You might back off the exercise intensity, no need to push anxiety up, that puts more cortisol into your system.

 

Something is going on with your wife, you need to reduce stress there. If necessary, see a marriage counselor.

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SkyStreamer

Thanks for your comments @Altostrata! I really appreciate it.

 

I've been doing the same thing for sleep for a while now. I think it's just that I am stabilizing now, as you mention. I missed a dose about 2 week ago. Then, I went through a bit of a small wave. Now, I've been coming out of it, and as I do my sleep seems to be improving. 

 

Yes, something is always going on with my wife and I. Our relationship has been a never ending cycle of ups and very bad downs. We've done marriage counselors, priests, psychologists - you name it. None of this has helped much. The only thing that really seems to help is when we are both living a very heart-based, balanced, self-care focused lifestyle. And, most of the time, one of us is usually not practicing this as well as we could be. The result is a lot of tension and stress in our relationship. I'm committed for the long haul and will always  work to try and make things better. But, the biggest thing for me is just accepting that this is how things have always been in our relationship, and just accepting however things end up unfolding between us. Also, being committed to my own self-care is probably the biggest thing for me, since it is only myself that I really have control over. 

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Altostrata

Well, you might as well have some kind of token you can pass to each other when you argue, to remind both of you that you are committed through it all. It might defuse things.

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Gracee
1 hour ago, SkyStreamer said:

 

 

Any other tricks or tools for dealing with restless sleeps or middle of the night wake-ups? How do you deal with the tiredness from day to day?

 

Hi again SkyStreamer.  I use earplugs.  I am a very light sleeper.    My house and surroundings are very quiet, but without earplugs I wake up whenever the heating system or a/c turns on.  

 

If I am very restless, I get out of bed and move to a sofa or recliner.   Sometimes I have a small bowl of cereal.  Occasionally I will take a Benadryl and a Valarien.   Maybe once or twice a month, I take a tiny sliver of Ambien.  I'm able to get through the day on few hours sleep for some reason.

Best wishes to you.   Hope your sleeplessness ends soon.

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SkyStreamer
16 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Well, you might as well have some kind of token you can pass to each other when you argue, to remind both of you that you are committed through it all. It might defuse things.

 

Good idea - thx!

 

Do you have experience in this area, or are you just good at coming up with ideas to help defuse relational conflict? :)

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SkyStreamer
16 hours ago, Gracee said:

 

Hi again SkyStreamer.  I use earplugs. . . .

 

ok - thanks for the ideas. Sorry to hear you struggle so much with sleep. I only struggle in short periods during WD. 

 

I'm a big fan of recliners. I have a nice lazy boy I used during the day to help me relax! :) 

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Altostrata

It's much easier to solve other peoples' problems than my own! I see a lot of relationship trouble in posts on this site. By the way, you might post in Relationships and social life

 

Please review Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

There may be something you can do to tweak it, such as taking magnesium and glycine when you wake up in the middle of the night.

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SkyStreamer

@Altostrata - thanks for the link and seeping tip!

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 02/01/2019

 

- Excellent night sleep

- less anxiety

- Able to do higher intensity cardio workout

- Feeling like I'm stabilizing

 

NIGHT: 9 hours of sleep; didn't really wake at all; felt rested

7am: woke; rested & refreshed; low anxiety (2/10)

7:30am: 30 mins prayer

9am: 7.5mg Cipralex dose

9am-11am: work; a bit higher but still low anxiety (4/10); unmotivated and lethargic; bored

11am: 15 min downtime; read a book

11:15am: 45 min of cardio (75% intensity); medium anxiety (5/10); big improvement in terms of energy and less anxiety

1pm-3:30pm: work; medium anxiety 6/10; unmotivated; lacking interest in my work; bored

3:30pm: 15 min guided relaxation meditation; lacking focus and attention

4pm-6:30pm: work; medium anxiety (6/10); racing thoughts; a little more motivated; a little more interest in my work

6:30pm-8pm: downtime; watch a documentary

8:30pm: 45 min prayer

9:30pm: BEDTIME

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SkyStreamer

I can't remember where it was, but I remember reading somewhere on this site that Antidepressants can suppress or bury a person's beliefs (in addition to their emotions). Is it true that ADs can actually suppress beliefs? And, if it is true, what kind of beliefs can ADs suppress?

 

Has anyone on this site experienced a suppression of their beliefs after taking ADs, and then had their beliefs resurface again after tapering or fully coming off ADs?

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ChessieCat

No, I don't think ADs can bury or suppress a person's beliefs but they do numb the emotions.  Having numbed emotions means that things that we believe in might not seem to be as real and/or mean as much because we can have a ho hum attitude.

 

This is the area of the site where those topics would be:  finding-meaning

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Rosetta
On January 30, 2019 at 6:02 PM, SkyStreamer said:

What do you do when you wake up in the middle of the night and cannot get back to sleep?

 

I usually just lay there and try and go back to sleep. Has anyone had better luck in getting up and doing something until they feel tired? Or, reading? Or, something else?

 

Interested to know people's thoughts about and experiences with this.

 

Hi Skystreamer,

 

What has consistently helped me is a shoulder wrap that goes in the microwave.  I think the Bed Bath and Beyond website shows one.  It's filled with some type of beans.  (I tried a tube sock full of rice, but that caused my skin to dry out quite badly.). Sometimes I get up and microwave it 2-3 times a night.  

 

I also have a soothing music toy made for kids, and I turn on a fan for white noise.  

 

If you get a Kindle, I recommend the "paper white" version.  The others will disrupt your sleep because of the light.  The drawback is that you may not be able to listen to books on tape with a paper white version.  Maybe by now you can have both features in the same device.  We have Kindle Fire that has speakers, but the paper white does not. 

 

I'm glad to see you are sleeping through so well lately.  That's really good news.

 

Rosetta

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SkyStreamer
20 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

Having numbed emotions means that things that we believe in might not seem to be as real and/or mean as much because we can have a ho hum attitude.

 

That sounds very interesting. Can you explain this a bit more and give a few examples? Pretty please. :) 

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SkyStreamer

Thanks @Rosetta for your comments! Much appreciated.

 

Yes, I keep reading about internet and phone light negatively affecting sleep at night. But, to be honest, I'm not sure I've ever experienced that myself. Unless, that is, I'm just completely oblivious to it. 

 

But, that "paper white" one sounds like a good alternative. Better safe than sorry. And, I don't really ever do anything but read at night anyways. 

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 02/02/2019

 

- Not as good a sleep last night

- Medium anxiety throughout most of day (5/10)

- Had less discipline (eating, focus, attention, etc.)

 

NIGHT: 8 hrs sleep; woke up once at 4am with a small panic attack; read news on cell phone for 1 hour & went back to sleep until 7am

7am: woke; a bit tired; lethargic; unmotivated; but grateful that the night was over & I had 8 hrs sleep

9am: took 7.5mg Cipralex dose

9:30am-11:30am: work; unmotivated; medium anxiety (5/10); low energy; very bored

11:30am: 15 mins breathing exercise; medium anxiety (5.5/10); a lot of difficulty focusing and controlling my mind and thoughts

12noon:1:30pm: work; medium anxiety (5.5/10); low energy; still bored

1:30pm: 1 hour exercise (weights); low anxiety (4/10); enjoyable; glimmers of energy, motivation and optimism

3pm: 45 mins downtown; time with my kids

4pm-6pm: work; medium anxiety (5/10); a bit more racing thoughts; a little more energy

6pm: 30 mins downtime; 15 mins of movie; 15 mins of book

6:30pm-7pm: family dinner; family time (just the kids and I; wife away)

8:30pm: 45 mins prayer & meditation

BEDTIME: 9:45pm

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 02/03/2019

 

- Medium anxiety (on average)

- More tired and lethargic

- Ongoing difficulty concentrating

 

NIGHT: 9 hrs sleep; didn't wake up at all; but had a bad dream (same dream two nights in a row!)

7am: woke; extremely tired and exhausted (strange, since I slept for 9 hrs!); medium anxiety (6/10)

7:30am: 30 mins writing about my dream; lower anxiety (4/10)

8am-11am: took 7.5mg Cipralex dose at 9am; spent time with my eldest child; very relaxing; low anxiety (3/10)

11am-1pm: family time; lunch; higher anxiety (6/10)

1pm: 30 minute downtime; 15 mins quiet; 15 mins TV

130pm: exercise for 1 hr (weights) 80% normal intensity; medium anxiety at beginning (5/10); high anxiety towards the end (7.5/10)

2:45pm: 15 mins downtime; TV

3pm-6pm: family time

6pm: 15 mins quiet downtime

6:15pm-8pm: dinner; family time

8:30pm: 45 mins prayer & meditation

9:40pm: BEDTIME

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 02/04/2019

 

- High anxiety later in the day

Very depressed at times

- Very bored and disinterested in everything

- Tired & exhausted

 

NIGHT: 8 hours sleep; woke up briefly 2 or 3 times; restless sleep; disturbing, stressful and fear-based nightmares

7am: woke; exhausted, tired, sad, bored and pessimistic; low anxiety (3.5/10)

7:30am: 30 mins prayer; extremely bored and disinterested; tons of difficulty concentrating

7:30am-10am: 7.5mg of Cipralex dose at 9am; family time; spent time with my kids; medium anxiety (5/10)

10am: 15 mins quiet downtime; difficulty concentrating; medium anxiety (5/10)

10:15-1pm: work; higher anxiety (6/10)

1pm: 1 hour downtime; TV; sad; lonely; exhausted; bored; pessimistic

2pm: 40 mins light walking; bored; disinterested; frustrated

3pm-6pm: family time; spent time with kids; depressed; very irritable and frustrated; very pessimistic; general dislike of everything about life

6pm: family dinner; high anxiety (8/10)

6:45pm: 1 hour of downtime; TV; depressed exhausted; discouraged; 

8:20: 45 mins prayer; low anxiety (4/10); bored; disinterested; very tired

9:20pm: BEDTIME

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 02/05/2019

 

- Got very stressed & irritable after high intensity exercise (but no panic attack)

- More worrying about whether I will ever stabilize

- A little more motivated and productive

 

NIGHT: 10 hours sleep; didn't wake up at all; some stressful dreams, but no nightmares

7:30am: woke; low anxiety (2/10); felt rested, refreshed, and a bit more motivated; had more energy

9am: took 7.5mg Cipralex dose

9am-11:30: work; low anxiety (4/10); a bit of racing thoughts

11:30am: 20 mins meditation

12noon: 30 mins skipping (90% normal intensity); medium anxiety at beginning (6/10); high anxiety towards the end & immediately after (8.5/10); but no panic attack

12:30pm: 30 mins downtime; TV; high anxiety (7.5/10)

1pm-5:30pm: work; high anxiety (7/10); irritable; critical; annoyed; angry

5:30: 15 mins outdoors very light walk

6pm-8pm: family dinner; family time; high anxiety (6.5/10)

8:30pm: 45 mins prayer; medium anxiety (4.5/10)

9:45pm: BEDTIME

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eymen23

Hi SS,

 

Are you finding the high intensity exercise beneficial? It’s quite possible from the notes that it’s causing undue stress to an already stressed nervous system.

 

I would consider doing more low intensity exercise like walking. 

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SkyStreamer

Hi @eymen23!

 

Your response made me smile. You're darn right that that high intensity exercise caused me undue stress! :) 

 

I had been doing light exercise everyday up until yesterday, and gradually increasing my intensity slowly. It was all going well, so I thought I would bump up my intensity another few steps, just to see if I could handle more. And, the result was that I couldn't handle more. 

 

The problem is that I love exercise, especially high intensity and hard core exercise. I've been doing it for over 20 years now. So, 'light' exercise is a bit of a pain and annoyance for me. A part of me would rather not work out at all. In terms of fitness, I find it a total waste of time. But, I realize that light exercise is still better than none at all, and that it beats exercise that causes me unnecessary stress.

 

I'm dying to get back to my normal high intensity exercise routine. But, I'm going to have to learn how to be a bit more patient with myself and a bit more loving to my nervous system. :)

 

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eymen23

Hi SS,

 

I totally understand how you feel. In my early 20s I was in the gym weight training 5 days a week. I was very strong by most people’s standards and I loved pushing myself.

 

At some point, once I got into a stressful career and had health issues, the high intensity exercise had to go. For so long, I tried to modify my routine and train less, or do 30 minutes instead of 1 hour etc.

 

In the end, I realised that by holding on to something that was too stressful for my body, I was prolonging my recovery, suffering unnecessarily and delaying my ability to return to my old workout schedule.

 

I stepped away from high intensity exercise about 3 years ago, and I have not looked back. I have found a new love for walking in nature, which ended up being much more satisfying (I love taking photos in nature) and my body is much happier without the added stress. 

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